What is a Buccal Cavity?

The term buccal cavity isn’t a phrase that you’re going to hear all too often at the dinner table. Nor is it a term that you will encounter in most forms of general conversation. However, the term is typically found in medical textbooks, especially ones related to the throat and mouth – though also can be found in general care handbooks as well. What is it, and why is it sometimes one of the more confusing terms out there to study as any medical student?

The mouth is also known as the oral cavity or the buccal cavity.

What is a Buccal Cavity?

Here’s what to know about the buccal cavity, including where most people get the term wrong.

Buccal Cavity: Etymology

The term “buccal” is derived from the direct Latin for the word cheek, which gives the term its first meaning that most people will intend when they use the phrase.

When used in the context of medication, such as a doctor’s note, on medicine instructions, or on labels, the term buccal cavity will usually refer to the inner cheeks.

However, the term is also sometimes used to indicate piercings, as this is where some dental piercings are commonly inserted.

Unfortunately, this is also where the term gets confused. The buccal cavity does not always just refer to the cheek, but can also refer to almost the entire mouth area.

The [Larger] Meaning of Buccal Cavity

The term buccal cavity typically refers to more than just the cheek when seen in a medical textbook with a larger depiction. When looking at the entire digestive system which starts in the mouth, the buccal cavity refers to the first area: just before the curve of the throat, if you were looking at a diagram of a person from the side. The larger meaning of the buccal cavity will also include other parts of the dental cavity, such as the lips, cheeks, teeth, and palate (roof of the mouth).

In the context of surgery, you can expect the meaning to usually include the whole description of the buccal cavity as it was given here. If you aren’t sure about this, then it’s a good idea to make notes (and ask).

It Depends on the Context

As with many medical terms, the meaning can depend on the context of what’s being said. Most references will mean the larger buccal cavity, though not all resources will work this way. Where the text makes the meaning unclear, diagrams will often be present to help clear up the meaning.

When the reference refers to animals instead of people, it usually just means the inside area of the mouth right before the throat.

Regency Family Dentistry Omaha | Best Omaha Dentist near Westroads Mall in Regency

Whether your teeth needs are a:

  • complete exam and cleaning,
  • full-mouth restoration
  • or anything in between

We promise to provide exceptional dental care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile.  Below are just some of the many procedures and dental services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results.  Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.

Preventative Dentistry

  • Dental Exams
  • Dental Cleanings
  • Oral Cancer Exam
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • Sealants
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Home Care
  • Nightguards & Mouthguards

Cosmetic Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Composite Fillings
  • Porcelain Crowns
  • FixedPorcelain Bridges
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Tooth Whitening

Periodontal Disease

  • What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Maintenance

Restorative Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Inlay Restorations
  • Onlay Restorations
  • Composite Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Dentures & Partial Dentures
  • Fixed Bridges
  • Root Canal Therapy

Oral Surgery

  • Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Have Any Questions?

Contact us today! We are happy to answer any questions you might have.